Long arm of the paw
From tracking down burglars to bike thieves, drink drivers to drug dealers, paw patrols are invaluable in the fight against crime.
The 25 handlers and 47 dogs which make up Norfolk and Suffolk’s joint dog unit provide specialist support to colleagues to help keep both counties safe.
Last year (Jan-Dec 2015) the team made more than 1,170 arrests, helped find 347 missing people and carried out 1,548 drug searches, while also taking part in regular training exercises.
In an average month the team:
• Attend 640 events (this excludes pre-planned operations)
• Conduct 112 drug searches
• Make 110 arrests
• Help to locate 30 missing people
Inspector Ross McDermott, who oversees the joint dog section, said: “Police dogs and their handlers are highly trained and used in a variety of scenarios from catching criminals to finding missing people, saving officers’ valuable time and ultimately saving lives.
“The dogs can pick up a person’s scent and track for miles so they’re a real asset in incidents where time is of the essence to find someone, be it a culprit or a vulnerable person.”
The team have been involved in a number of successful jobs, including the pursuit of armed robbers following a raid at Windsor Bishop jewellers in Norwich for which six people were later jailed for a total of 37 years.